Joe Capalbo grew up watching Crystal Lake Central basketball, then played three seasons on the Tigers’ varsity team.
Central basketball meant everything to Capalbo as a kid, and it means everything to him again. Capalbo, 31, was hired as the Tigers' head boys basketball coach during the High School District 155 Board meeting Tuesday night.
“I’m very excited for the opportunity to be coaching at the school I grew up playing at,” Capalbo said. “Playing in this program was a huge part of my life. I think they saw a guy who went through the program and understands the tradition and saw how much the program has done for me in my life and how much I care about the program.”
Capalbo, a 2006 Central graduate, takes over for Rich Czeslawski, who stepped down after 13 years as head coach. Czeslawski, the chief operating officer of Pure Sweat Basketball, will focus his efforts on teaching players and coaches from the McHenry County area.
Capalbo’s familiarity with Central was a plus, but Tigers athletic director Jeff Aldridge said there was much more.
“It was more about what he’s done since then,” Aldridge said. “He’s been very active. Everybody we talked to talked about his relationships with the kids and what a great communicator he is and how people just want to be around him and play for him.”
Capalbo, who teaches physical education and health at Cary Junior High, coached for six years at Palatine, four years as girls junior varsity coach and two years as varsity assistant. He coached Cary-Grove’s freshman boys A team last season.
“It’s a win for Crystal Lake Central and a loss for Cary-Grove,” C-G boys varsity coach Adam McCloud said.